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Obama To Honor LBJ Civil Rights; Flight 370 Missed Radar

Aired April 10, 2014 - 07:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a look at this closer one more time. One of the things we talked about last week was this -- how it had come out very far around Indonesia. That was that big turn because it was initially thought to avoid radar detection here.

MICHAEL KAY, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This is Banda Aceh, there's a huge radar station.

BOLDUAN: That's why we saw the path seen as going around this way. We're now talking about the new information from Nic Robertson is we're talking about the left-hand turn right here in through the Malacca straits, right?

KAY: It actually turned left and then the actual track brought it down here, this is Thailand. Avoided Thailand and then went northwest to the Malacca Straits. It's taken a normal track. If you imagine the flight plan was originally up to Beijing, which is this way, it's taking an unusual track, unusual left and then unusual avoiding Thailand airspace for whatever reason.

And then it's proceed out, avoided Sumatra and come around the top of Sumatra and headed south into the area where we're looking for the pings. For me as someone that's been involved in aviation, avoided radar and spent many years working about how radar works and learning about how radar works, that is a very distinctive track, which is completely away from the original flight plan and is involved in a number of course changes which are very odd.

BOLDUAN: It's important to point out, it's all important information, but they're just pieces of a puzzle that, again, do not quite yet fit together. We're now beginning to understand more of what happened up here and down here where the pings are located. We are not -- I wouldn't say we're any closer to yet understanding why. And that's, of course, where the investigation will lead us as we go forward.

KAY: I think it's a brilliant point. I mean, this is a jigsaw puzzle. Every little bit of information we get is just an extra piece so we can stand back and hopefully see the bigger picture. This kind of three phases to what's going on here. There's the where, the what, and the why. The where has taken 34 days or 35 days and we're still trying to work it out. Hopefully, we're going to have enough information that will give us a resolution there soon.

The "what" will be when we source those black boxes and the relevant agencies can download the data and then they will know the flight path, the altitude, the speed, they'll know conversations. But that won't tell us the complete picture of the why. I think the why bit, given all of this mysterious information, is going to take quite some time to discern.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And caution on our part to not to jump to any conclusion.

KAY: Absolutely. We shouldn't be jumping to phase three when we haven't even found the where, which is phase one. Leave that in the middle. Stick to the facts as you say, keep building this picture and hopefully in time the picture will become large enough and clear enough for us to be able to make some viable conclusions.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Michael, thank you so much. Very helpful. Thank goodness we have such a big map -- Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All this information certainly good for one thing: it allows us to continue to test what's coming out of the investigators, what makes sense, what doesn't, when have they been wrong and what is the right information. That's helping us.

We are going to take a quick break here, when we come back we will have more on the plane because there's new information needs new understanding.

And, also, after the break we're going to go inside politics. President Obama in Texas to honor LBJ and talk civil rights. We're going to look at how this president's legacy may stack up.


CUOMO: There's a lot going on in politics and we're going to get deep inside. But first, we're going to want to take you over to John King because he is the man with politics on NEW DAY.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": Chris, good morning to you. Let's go inside politics. A big day today. We have our first African-American president going to the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas to pay tribute to the president to 50 years ago this year signed into law the landmark Civil Rights Act.

With me this morning to share the reporting and insights, Julianna Goldman of "Bloomberg News" and CNN's Peter Hamby. This is a president who at times refers to his own place in history. What's the significance of this event, essentially paying tribute to LBJ? You could make the case without LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act there would be no President Barack Obama today?

JULIANNA GOLDMAN, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": Right. The symbolism will be on display when the president speaks later today in Texas. I wouldn't look for him to be -- to make this speech overtly about race. Like I said, the symbolism is going to be apparent. But look for him to make it more political. So to talk about economic equality for all in the context of pay equity, minimum wage, and these issues that Democrats are trying to raise attention to heading into November.

KING: Voting rights as well. The president will say under attack, something from the Johnson era. Peter, what a lot of people say when they look at the comparison and to be fair, President Johnson had a Democratic Congress when he was in the White House even though they lost some seats in the midterm.

Johnson loved the art of the deal. He was the former senate leader who cut all the deals. Comparisons are that President Obama last night at a fund-raiser say this is the least productive Congress in history. Now part of that is because the Republicans and Democrats don't agree. But some people also part of it is that this current president doesn't like the art of the deal.

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. That's not a new criticism on the president. That's long been the case that he's allergic to that kind of deal making and hobnobbing and behind the scenes backslapping. LBJ was the last president to sort of jump into the White House, but he was a creature of the Senate. Democratic Congress but a lot of those were southern Democrats. These are people that disagreed with him on civil rights issues that he sort of cornered and dealt with.

So, look, the White House is sort of wrangled by the comparisons. Look, the civil rights thing is interesting because a lot of LBJ's legacy has been overshadowed by Vietnam, but he did sweeping ambitious domestic agenda. Before Republicans took over Congress, President Obama did enact one of the biggest pieces of domestic legislation, the affordable care act in American history. You can't say he's not completely like LBJ, I guess.

GOLDMAN: Affordable care act, financial regulatory reform stimulus, we have to wonder what LBJ would say about the initiative in terms of getting things done.

KING: Wouldn't you love to know that. One footnote before we move on. President Obama paying tribute to a past president today. He was greeted in Texas last night by another former president, George H.W. Bush greeting the president of the United States as he arrived at the airport in Texas. George H.W. Bush is a Texan, a Houstonian and being known for colorful socks. He showed the president and first lady his red, white, and blue socks. Interesting foot note, always good to see President Bush 41 doing well, we hope.

Let's move on to what I call the comeback kids day in politics. First, Bill Clinton will be in Pennsylvania raising money for Marjorie Margolies, back in the day, she was known promised her constituents in suburban Philadelphia she would not vote for the Clinton budget because it could raise taxes and then she was the deciding vote in 1993, the 218th vote. Republicans were chanting good-bye Marjorie when she came down to cast that vote.

But there's another reason, Julianna, this gets a lot of attention and you see the vote right here. She lost her seat in 1994, but she also has a bit of a family tie now. Her son is married to Chelsea Clinton.

GOLDMAN: That's right. They're keeping it all in the family. I love the campaign tweeted out a picture for throw back Thursday of the two of them in the '90s. That's right, Clintons help Clintons. This is in some ways pay back in return for that vote in 1993. But look, just look at Maryland, for example, Bill Clinton endorsing Anthony Brown who was -- who had supported Hillary in 2008 -- they are loyalists.

HAMBY: Bill Clinton would go in and raise money for her even without the family connection because of those long memories. One interesting point on this is Democratic seat, but it is a Democratic primary that's competitive and this puts the Clintons at odds with the more progressive candidate who has been backed by Bernie Sanders and Howard Dean's group who has been, you know, been very critical of American foreign policy and some Obama administration in the last couple of years. That's interesting. It puts the Clintons at odds with the base with this primary.

GOLDMAN: And it helps her with fundraising, which will be critical in that primary.

KING: Scott Brown also makes it official today in New Hampshire, the former Massachusetts senator running now for New Hampshire seat. I'll try to prove I'm no carpet-bagger. He was, in fact, born in New Hampshire. Look at that. Cute little black and white photo from Scott Brown back in the day of Port Smith, New Hampshire. The key here is he is getting a lot of attention. Can he get this race close enough against Democrat, Jeanne Shaheen?

GOLDMAN: Well, he's trying to rally the base by focusing on the affordable care act. She's won stayed wide as a senator, as a governor. This is I going to be nasty. There's going to be so much outside money.

KING: She is the only woman in history to be both the governor and the senator, I believe.

HAMBY: That's right. And she's raised a lot of money. A lot of money raised off of fundraising e-mails about Scott Brown. So she is definitely threatened by him, but she is a real pro and she is surrounded by pros. She's going to be tough to beat.

KING: A key race for mathematics. The Republicans need six, pick up six Senate seats to pick it up. That's why they like that race. They think it expands the map. Gives them more opportunity. I know both of you subscribe to "Rolling Stone" as we go back to New York, Julianna and Peter, I want to show the cover.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the cover there. A nudie but with the constitution, the constitution printed on the back. If you look closely and I know you're all historians on the set there in New York, John Hancock, see it, I guess I would call that high on the left cheek would be the right place to see where the John Hancock is. John Hancock did not sign the constitution. He did sign the Declaration of Independence.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus already making fun on this on Twitter, Mike, do you watch the show? Press guy Mike? She's blaming Mike.

BOLDUAN: Seriously, John. You were able to see nudie and left cheek and "Rolling Stone" cover. That's good Wednesday for you. CUOMO: John King, opening up the old chestnut I look at the "Playboy" for the articles. Discrepancy on the left butt cheek. Well-done, my friend.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- he didn't have to look too closely.

CUOMO: It's true. It's a good name to use and diminishes the size of the cheek. Everybody knows that trick. Everybody knows that trick.

BOLDUAN: David Soucie, sound of silence.

All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, the very latest we'll have for you on the breaking news this morning. CNN has learned Flight 370 dropped altitude after crossing the Malaysian Peninsula.

And also, the last person to speak from the cockpit was the pilot. We're going to have the very latest next.


CUOMO: All right, so major breaking news to discuss right now in the search for Malaysia Flight 370. CNN has learned the plane's altitude dropped to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet for a short time, but 100 miles or so as it crossed back over Malaysia. A source also says the final words heard from the plane were spoken by the pilot, not the co- pilot as initially thought.

Just about 90 minutes ago, Australian officials in another underwater -- said another underwater signal was detected by sonobuoys in the Indian Ocean. We have news about finding the plane that's good, that's more of the same, helping triangulate.

Let's bring in David Soucie right now. So that's good. Each ping they find helps limit the search area, right?


CUOMO: OK, but now the big mystery has been how the hell did it get there, right? That's what we've been dealing with from day one. Now new information. One, not the pilot, the co-pilot, what does that tell us? Investigators don't have their game straight. But other than that, does it give us indication of why this happened or nefarious intent?

SOUCIE: I don't think it goes towards nefarious, but it does tell me a little bit and that they may have changed control at that point because there's 12 minutes between the last two communications. When that last one came across maybe they switched from who had control, who was the pilot not flying.

CUOMO: So we go from maybes to now something that we understand better with new data. Let's look at the flight path. We have an animation for you to make the map even more visual. This is what they believe is a flight map. See it? This is the in-tight picture. Plane made the weird left. Goes over the Malaysian Peninsula, by the region of Perak and the island of Penang, it starts to go around the hub of Indonesia, what you see there is radar, Banda Aceh, the radar post. New information about the altitude dropping. David Soucie, what does it mean to you?

SOUCIE: Now here's what I don't understand. If that aircraft had dropped when it made the first left turn because that's the first indication there's trouble. Something going on in the airplane, where it's nefarious or not, we don't know that. It makes the left-hand turn. That's when you think it would have dropped. If he's going to hit the flight level change button and go down to that automatic altitude on down low, it would have happened there, not over here.

CUOMO: In either of the two major scenarios investigators have, which is you did this on purpose or you couldn't control this the drop would have been immediate.

SOUCIE: I would think so. Why would you make the turn knowing there's something wrong and not make that drop and then something else -- now you're talking about two different events happening if wasn't some kind of intent.

CUOMO: Now something that's important in understanding this. We know also from our sources that Malaysian military scrambled jets and the initial question here was, how do you have a plane goes over your airspace and not scramble military jets when you don't identify it. It turns out they did scramble them. They couldn't find the plane, but wasn't communicated to authorities until days later, which explains some of this, let's go the east to search when they had to know from their own military it was to the west.

SOUCIE: Well, I'm not sure the left hand knows what the right hand is doing here. Put it into time frame. These two traffic centers, one says, it's coming to you. A half hour, 45 minutes later, I thought this airplane was coming. It didn't me. Let's talk to Malaysia and the other centers. Where did it go? No one is finding it at this point.

This went on for hours, hours before they finally notified Malaysia and said we have a problem, we have a missing airplane, scramble your jets. Here is the question. When you scramble a jet, you have a place to go. So how did they know to go this way if they didn't have this radar information at that time?

CUOMO: That's a curiosity that we're going to have to get an explanation from investigators. Let's take a look at the flight path again and go to the pressing question. You go down to 4,000, 5,000 feet. Why? Why do you go there? It's not low enough to avoid radar. But then you come back up to altitude. It doesn't crash. It comes back up and flies for many hours. How do you explain that?

SOUCIE: Well, there is two different schools of thought on that. What I heard some people say is it went down to avoid traffic. That's a good argument. If it went down to avoid traffic, why did it climbed back up to 35,000 feet subsequently?

CUOMO: Would it do that by itself? Remember the ghost plane thing that investigators were coming up with? SOUCIE: I can't see why it would. If you hit the flight change button, what it's going to do is go to the pre-programmed altitude, if you had set it to 5,000, it will go to 5,000 and you have airspeed, you set to 275 or some lower speed. So you set that in and hit the button and it stabilizes. Auto throttle comes back in and it stabilizes at that altitude.

To go from there back up to 35,000 feet, you have to dial back in again. It's not something -- it's possible to automate that, but there's no reason you would have ahead of that. There's no reason. On that heading, it may have come back to Kuala Lumpur. They may have had that as an alternate to come back to pre-programmed in to the scratch pad or something.

CUOMO: Could you be so distracted by aviation and navigation that you would go all that time without making any communication?

SOUCIE: We're talking a long period of time here. This isn't just, my gosh, I'm responding to an emergency and I don't have time to call or maybe I picked up my oxygen mask and forgot to push the test. This is a long period of time here.

CUOMO: So we have more information about what happened, but not necessarily clues as to why it happened at least we have more information than before. David, thank you very much -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Coming up next on NEW DAY, we are going to have more on the breaking developments in the search for Flight 370. The flight's drop in altitude as David and Chris were talking about, the possible ping heard this morning, the final speaker from the cockpit. We're covering all these new angles for you coming up next.


CUOMO: We are following breaking news in the search for Flight 370. Major developments. Another possible signal from the flight data recorders and a startling revelation from the Malaysian government. Could these clues finally lead us to the missing plane? Those who know weigh in. Stay with us.